A Father’s Experience with the Family Renewal Program
A Mother’s Experience with the Family Renewal Program
A Sister’s Experience with the Family Renewal Program

It is a privilege to write this testimonial about my family’s experiences at the Las Vegas Recovery Center (Las Vegas Recovery Center). I think it is a understatement to say that the staff and programs of Las Vegas Recovery Center have radically changed our lives for the better.

My daughter, a beautiful, talented 20-year-old college student, was progressively going downhill in all spheres of her life—academic, family, social, and psychologically within her own personality. My wife and I truly had no idea how malignantly affected she had become by a variety of drugs. She had had a serious drug-related automobile accident in August 2010 which almost took her life. The brilliant physicians of the Trauma Center at Hackensack University Medical Center saved her life and kept her incredibly functional in all aspects, despite a sub arachnoid hemorrhage, fractured lumbar vertebral body and intro-abdominal bleeding. After one week in the hospital she came home on a variety of pain medications. In retrospect, as talented as the physicians were in putting her back together after the accident, they knew little about the addiction proneness of their patient and how she would become more and more addicted to these medications. Over the next four months our daughter became less and less functional, even less than she had been before the accident. She could barely move from the sofa, constantly complaining of pain. In desperation, we began researching rehabilitation programs all over the United States for the treatment of addiction and pain. We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have found Las Vegas Recovery Center, on the other side of the country (we live in New Jersey). It didn’t matter to us how far it was from our home, as long as the treatment and care they offered would return our daughter to her life and to us.

We brought her to Las Vegas Recovery Center in January 2011. She was truly a basket case, knowing only when she was supposed to get her next dosage of pain medication. It was brutal for us to see her in this condition. We had no previous experience with addiction rehab facilities. Several medical colleagues of mine had recommended Las Vegas Recovery Center. It seemed like such a long trip to make. Our daughter entered Las Vegas Recovery Center for what became a 90 day course of treatment. It was not easy on any of us. We made three trips to Las Vegas Recovery Center over the course of three months of her stay there. She wanted to leave after 30 days, but we were wisely advised by the staff that she was far from ready, and so we held on, not at all seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

We attended the four day Family Renewal Program in the fourth week of our daughter’s stay. We had no idea what we were getting into and expected informational lectures with a group of other family members, more personal meetings with the staff who were working with our daughter, and several meetings with our daughter herself, who expected to be coming home with us. In all respects the Family Renewal Program was exceptional, beyond description. The intellectual vitality of the presenting staff was amazing. The shared with us their perspectives on the nature of addiction, the treatment process, and the family dynamics which had been operating to enable our daughter’s addiction. Most profoundly their caring concern for their patients and for us was touching and impressive. Our group of family members bonded to a startling extent. For me, a somewhat suspicious and cynical physician, this was startling. Our heads were turned around in so many respects. We were imbued with a new energy to combat our daughter’s addiction, and to confront our own involvement in her disease. We finally recognized how addiction is a family disease. We saw the therapeutic road ahead as a long and arduous journey which it has proven to be.

But here we are, over a year post-discharge (April 2011), and we have our daughter back. She has her life back, in many ways even better than it had been before the events leading to her admission to Las Vegas Recovery Center. She has been committed to the NA Program, going to meetings almost every evening. We had been told by the Las Vegas Recovery Center staff that this was going to be pivotal for her to remain in recovery, not simply drug abstinence.

Our entire family has seen [our daughter’s] profound growth as a young woman. She has returned to college, achieved straight A’s in her courses, and re-engaged with peers and with us. She has become committed to working out and becoming physically fit. She runs 5-7 miles a day, goes rock climbing with her brother and with friends, and regularly participates in “hot yoga” exercising. All this in marked contrast to her virtual physical inertness prior to going to Las Vegas Recovery Center. Her personality has transformed from being a withdrawn, introverted girl, to being an outgoing young woman who goes after the things she wants to achieve in life. She is now cognitively and emotionally intact for the first time in many years. But we take every day as a gift and make no assumptions about what lies ahead for us.

There is insufficient room in this testimonial to describe the profound turnaround she has made in her life. And there is insufficient room to describe how grateful and appreciative we are to the staff at Las Vegas Recovery Center for what they have given to us. They always maintained their commitment to the principles of the treatment, cut no corners and did not falter when the going became inevitably tough. Las Vegas Recovery Center is a first class program which I unabashedly recommend for families who suffer from the devastation of addiction.

—Dr. C., M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. C.

The Las Vegas Recovery Center has helped many families, both locally and nationally, to better deal with the terrible disease of addiction. As someone who has been participated in the 4 day Family Renewal Program, I have first-hand knowledge of the benefits of this program to families. I recommend Las Vegas Recovery Center to anyone who has addiction problems or who has family members with addiction.

—Thomas J. H., MD

Thomas J. H. MD

My first introduction to Las Vegas Recovery Center was in early 2005 when my son was admitted for a 5 week stay. While he was learning how to overcome his addiction, my time was spent learning that he had a disease and how that disease affected me and my family. The first thing I did was attend the Las Vegas Recovery Center Family Renewal program. This was four (4) full days of extremely valuable information that shattered the stigma that comes with addiction. I learned that what my son has is a disease and that as with most diseases it takes the love and support of a family to overcome it. I learned that I had taken a very unhealthy roll in dealing with it, not only for my son but for me and my family. That experience was life-altering and I will always be grateful for the team of doctors and staff who took the time to recognize that addiction is a family disease and to put together a program to educate us.

My son was clean for 9 months then went back into active addiction. I wish I can report that I applied the valuable tools I learned in the Family Renewal Program but I did not. Fast forward seven (7) years to April 2011. My son ends up in a year long Drug Court program that requires the parents to sign a contract that they will be involved in the program with him.
The first thing we are told to do is go to the Las Vegas Recovery Center Family Renewal Program. So again I find myself sitting in the room with the doctors and staff I admire. This time, however, I am reminded that I need to change the way I handle this disease, if I want to get off the roller-coaster ride called addiction. I realize that while I learned the same things the second time, I had only taken with me from the first time the fact that addiction is a disease which meant I could love my son again because it wasn’t him doing all those awful things to the family, it was the disease.

So now I tell a different story. I currently attend the Family Alumni meetings each week and Nar-Anon meetings. I also have a Sponsor with whom I work the 12 Step Program because, I, like my son, need the help and support of these groups to keep me from jumping back on that roller coaster. I know that I will be okay even if my son doesn’t stay clean. I know that I am in a healthier place and I feel wonderful knowing that I can have my own recovery.

We say this at the end of each Nar-Anon meeting: “Keep coming back because it works if you work it, so work it because you’re worth it.” I have learned that I am worth it!

—Debbie M.

Debbie M.

The Family Renewal Program at Las Vegas Recovery Center gave me the tools for recovery for myself and my family. These educational sessions gave me the confidence to deal with the worst fears that I had as a mother. The sessions are packed with practical strategies that can be used immediately by families struggling with the disease of addiction. I am grateful for the knowledge, skills and attitude I acquired from the sessions. This is vital for all families. It is a must!

—Dr. Elizabeth F.

Dr. Elizabeth F.

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